Raw, Fresh, or Kibble? The Best Diet for Your Doggo

Raw, Fresh, or Kibble? The Best Diet for Your Doggo

As a pet parent, the biggest and the most important decision you must make is choosing their diet. With so many options available, it can be challenging to find the best one. Generally, pet owners contemplate whether to get raw, fresh, or kibble for their dogs. If you’re in a similar boat, count yourself lucky, we have compiled information for all three dog food types to help you make an informed decision.

Is Your Dog an Omnivore or a Carnivore?

Before proceeding to the different types of dog food, you must first understand the anatomy of dogs. Many believe that dogs are carnivores, i.e., they only eat meat. While it is true that dogs tend to enjoy meat-rich diets; however, saying that they are carnivores wouldn’t be entirely true. Dogs can also digest plant-based diets, unlike cats.

To elaborate, carnivores have smaller intestines, designed only to break down meat-based diets. However, herbivores and omnivores have longer intestines to ensure both meat and plant-based materials are digested. Cats are carnivores with an intestine measuring approximately 1 foot, while dogs have a longer intestine, measuring two feet long. While dogs have a longer length than cats, it is much smaller than humans. Still, their GI tract can digest small quantities of plant-based materials, but meat-based diets are their primary food source.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dog Food

Whether you choose fresh, dry, or raw dog food for your furry friend, you must consider a few factors before making the final decision. These factors include the following:

  • Nutritional Balance: To ensure your dog stays healthy and fit, a well-balanced nutritious diet is a must. The more nutrients your dog absorbs, the better it is for their overall wellbeing.
  • Level of Activity: House dogs have different nutritional requirements than service/working dogs. Ultimately, the choice of diet depends on their activity level. Since service/ working dogs perform more activities, they need a protein-rich diet.
  • Breed and Age: Generally, the dietary requirements vary between breeds. Moreover, puppies and adult dogs require different levels of nutrition. For instance, growing puppies eat three meals a day, while adult dogs generally eat two meals in one day.
  • Allergies: Food allergies aren’t uncommon in dogs. Always consider any protein allergies your dog might have when choosing a diet to prevent adverse reactions.
  • Taste: Contrary to what many believe, the taste is an important factor. If the dry food or any other feed doesn’t tickle your dog’s fancy, they won’t eat.

Finding the Best Diet for Your Dog

As mentioned earlier, there are three main types of dog foods. These include:

  • Fresh dog food
  • Raw dog food
  • Dry dog food (kibble)

Let’s take an in-depth look at all three types to help you find the best one for your dog.

1.      Fresh Dog Food

Many pet owners get confused between raw and fresh dog food and often think of both as the same. But these are two entirely different types of feed.

Fresh dog food is sourced from all-natural ingredients such as beef, lamb, chicken, spinach, peas, and blueberries. Fresh food is rich in nutrition and can promote excellent health. The best part is that fresh feed does not contain any filler ingredients, making it a healthier choice.

You can either cook the food at home or purchase it from stores. However, it is essential to note that when cooking fresh food at home, you should always follow recipes formulated by a veterinary nutritionist to ensure your doggo gets a well-balanced meal.

A more convenient option would be to get store-bought food. Some manufacturers sell ingredients with cooking instructions and quantities, while others offer already cooked foods that must be stored in the freezer.

But when feeding your fresh dog food, it is essential to consider your lifestyle. Do you have enough time to cook the food? Of course, if you don’t, you can always purchase already cooked food available at different stores. However, that adds to your cost, as pre-cooked fresh dog food costs much more than commercially prepared kibble or dry food.

What to Look for in Fresh Dog Food

When shopping for fresh dog food, always find a supplier that offers subscriptions and delivers to your doorstep. It’s a more convenient solution than having to place orders regularly or going out every time you run out of ingredients.

If they offer storage instructions, recipes, or feeding schedules, make sure a veterinary nutritionist has formulated all these. If the food is already cooked before delivery, ensure that all cooking is carried out in a regulatory kitchen, so your dog gets a well-balanced, nutritious diet.

2.      Raw Dog Food

When it comes to raw dog food, it doesn’t mean you grab raw meat from the butcher shop and feed it to your dog. That’s not how raw feeding works. Instead, proper raw feed requires muscle and organ meat, along with bones, vitamins, and plant-based materials.

Many misconceptions surround the use of raw dog food. Raw food is commonly believed to be detrimental to a pup’s health, or it can make them more aggressive. But these are all myths. In fact, a raw diet has countless benefits and can boost the immune system. Moreover, raw food is a natural diet for dogs. It is how mother nature intended dogs to eat.

A raw diet does not require any form of heat processing or cooking. But it is essential to provide your doggo with a well-balanced diet.

Finding the perfect balance can be challenging if you don’t have sufficient nutritional knowledge. Fortunately, there are retailers that sell pre-packaged raw food that has already been portioned into meals for added convenience. You simply need to store the food in the freezer and thaw it before meal times. It’s a more effortless solution than fresh foods, as it does not require any cooking and can be a hassle-free solution that fits into the busy lifestyles of pet owners.

Raw food consumption has been found to make the dog’s skin and coat shinier, improve dental health, and reduce stool volume and odour. It also plays a part in prolonging your dog’s life.

But the risks to children and immunocompromised patients still exist. Raw food can become the cause of illnesses among such individuals. However, that issue can easily be fixed by following precautionary instructions, such as keeping the raw dog food separate from other foods in the freezer and using separate equipment to handle it.

Now let’s focus on whether a raw or fresh diet is better. Pet owners have sparked many debates on which one is the better option. Those who feed a fresh diet claim that it is easier to digest as the food is cooked, while those who feed raw food to dogs believe it offers more health benefits and offers full nutritional value.

It’s true that cooking can kill some of the nutrients for dogs, but most fresh dog foods are lightly cooked in regulated kitchens, which does not impact the nutritional value as such. However, raw food is fully packed with nutrients with zero losses. Moreover, it isn’t difficult to digest either. Of course, if your dog is used to eating kibble or fresh food, it might take some time for them to get used to the new diet, but eventually, they’ll start eating without hassle.

What to Look for in Raw Diet Food

Before starting raw feed, consult us to help guide you on how to handle raw food to eliminate any potential health concerns.

We give advice on storing and feeding schedules, can help you understand the importance of nutritional balance and provide pre-packaged and portioned foods for meal times.

3.      Dry Dog Food (Kibble)

Dry dog food, also known as kibble, is commonly available in the form of pellets. The ingredients can vary, but they are required to fulfil nutritional requirements for dogs.

Pet owners consider it the most convenient option because it does not require freezing or refrigeration for storage, has a long shelf life, and is easy to feed. All ingredients present in the dry dog food are listed on the packaging, so you know what you’re feeding your furry friend.

While it certainly is a feasible and economical solution for pet owners, it comes with many downsides. For starters, dry food lacks moisture. Low moisture keeps your dog in a constant state of dehydration, leading to lack of energy, loss of appetite, degrading skin quality, dry gums, and nose.

Unlike fresh or raw diets, dry dog food contains many filler ingredients, contributing to obesity and other health issues in dogs. Moreover, nutritional loss occurs as the food is highly processed, making it unfit for a healthy doggo lifestyle.

Plus, many dry foods contain artificial colouring agents to make them seem appealing to pet owners. But at the end of the day, your dog doesn’t care about the colour of their food; they only prefer having a tasty meal. Not to mention, these food colours have become a source of cancer in dogs.

It’s best to avoid feeding your dog kibble. But you can try feeding your dog dry food along with the fresh or raw feed. For instance, they can have raw food at one meal time and raw food at the other.

What to Look For in Dry Dog Food

Make sure you purchase from reputable brands that produce high-quality ingredients without artificial colouring agents.

Always check the ingredients to see the number of filler ingredients. Of course, the actual quantities aren’t listed, but the ingredients are listed by volume in descending order. Remember, your dog needs a protein-rich diet.

So, Which One is the Best?

Considering all the things mentioned above, dry dog foods certainly are not the best diet for dogs. But in some cases, your vet might recommend a medicated dog food to ensure your doggo recovers quickly. These foods are formulated to support easy digestion and contain medicine for healing. Other than that, it’s best to avoid dry foods. Instead, fresh or raw feed is the better option. 

Both fresh and raw dog foods are easy to digest and ensure your dog stays healthy and active throughout its life. But raw food is better in the sense that it does not kill off any nutrients even in the slightest because of zero heat application. Moreover, they do not require cooking, so they save time. But a fresh diet may be the better option if you have immunocompromised patients or children at home. However, if you’re careful enough, you can safely store and feed your dog a raw diet without risking anyone else’s health.

But, of course, if you still can’t decide, you can leave the decision up to your dog. That’s right. Feed your dog a little bit of both and observe which one they like better. You can always try a mix and match, but we recommend sticking to raw dog food.

The best diet for dogs is the one that has been minimally processed, and what could be a better option than raw meat, bones, and vegetables?

Get the Best Diet For Your Doggo at Raw Paws Emporium

If you’re looking for a reliable store to purchase the best dog food (read: raw food) for your furry best friend, there is no better option than Raw Paws Emporium. Call 01707 952160 or click here to place your orders.

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